This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining light on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms which are ridden with consumerism but are often regarded as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what could possibly be the most ubiquitous presence in lots of people’s lives, social media. You probably imagine social media in an effort to connect to and stay-in-touch with your friends and relatives, ways to keep up-to-date on topics and groups that you simply value and possibly even a means to meet new people. And whenever used for good, social media marketing does all of the things. But there is also a hidden … and never so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew.
According to how old you are, you’ve probably experienced the subsequent cycle at least one time and maybe several (and even frequently). A social networking launches. You will find no ads, and it is glorious so you spend your time on the website talking to people of interest or taking a look at fascinating (or at best mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking must develop money. By that point, you’ve established your network and turn into invested in the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And after that, suddenly, you discover your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for items that you may or may not want but usually don’t need. Social networking is among the most shopping mall of the present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you would like to go to. Would you even know that you simply wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social networking ad informed you that you supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social media sites is regarded as the obvious method that consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not the most insidious way.
Exactly what makes a social networking network such a target-rich environment for advertisers is the level of data that they may drill through to be able to put their ads directly in front of the people who are more than likely to answer them. By “the level of data that they may drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide and this the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to get perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers to be able to help them optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means unfamiliar with social media marketing and many users never know that by using a site or creating a free account over a site they can be by default allowing their data to get shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print inside the stipulations that nobody ever reads). But why is it more insidious whenever a social network will it?
The kind of data that you’re sharing on a social networking which the social networking is sharing with advertisers is simply a lot more intimate. Social networking sites share your interests (both stated and produced from other items that you just post). Do you get pregnant recently? You don’t have to share it with advertisers, you just have to post regarding this with a social network where you really should share it with your friends and family and also the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to begin showing you diapers. Would you visit a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking understands that dexspky04 a procedure called retargeting, and from now on you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product in a effort (usually highly successful) to get you back to purchase it. So while data sharing is the most insidious method that social networking sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not probably the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, among the conditions that we work the most difficult to bring to people’s attention is the fact the thing that makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way in which, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday routine, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous in regards to the consumer component of social media marketing. Social networking is a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven into the fabric of that experience is consumerism. Actually, the practice of social media depends on that. It’s assumed that people will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and communicate with them. Similar to the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same is true of any brand on the social media marketing site. Yet, the charge of customer satisfaction or sales representatives who manage social media marketing presence for a corporation or brand is to talk to the shoppers or brand advocates as if the emblem were a person. This fine line between how you will contact actual living people on social networking and brands, products or companies is really fine that you just often forget you will find a difference. And that is a hazardous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media advertising also depends on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly nearest you (your social websites friends and contacts) can more efficiently influence you to buy, try or support a brand name, company or product. That’s why nearly all social networking campaigns are designed to encourage people to share information about brands, products or companies on their social network. Once you see people which you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more likely to connect with and, ultimately, put money into that element. It’s probably the most virtual kind of pressure from peers or “keeping with the joneses.” And because people spend so much time on certain social networking sites, it has a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you believe you happen to be harmlessly updating your status in your friends, think about exactly how much your social media activity is facilitating the intrusion of the consumer machine. Then enhance your status concerning this!